There’s nothing like a mysterious warehouse party, but after the news of the recent fire at an Oakland event hit the news, the safety of goers at these kind of events is on the mind of many Torontonias. Celebrations in off-beat locations have been on a continuous rise over the past few years across the GTA, so it’s no wonder that the tragedy in California hit home for many north of the Canadian border. BlogTO questions whether these parties being thrown in Toronto are indeed safe, interviewing several of the city’s leading experts on the subject to find out what the future holds for events held in these underground settings.
Mario Angelucci, Acting Chief Building Official for the city of Toronto says that warehouse parties in the city are of course mostly legal, as long as organizers adhere to Ontario Fire Codes. “When events are proposed in warehouses, the City reviews the proposal to ensure the buildings meet all of the fire and life safety requirements.” Angelucci explains. “These requirements include… exits, emergency lighting, early warning systems, smoke control measures, and fire and life safety plans.” Because of the rise of warehouse events in Toronto, they’ve significantly increased the resources for fire prevention and inspections. Over the last three years the city of Toronto has added 80 fire inspectors.
Photo by Ded Pixel ~ Summerdaze
Toronto’s Promise party collective throw events in warehouse settings quite often. Purchasing their own lit-up fire exit signs and fire extinguishers that they bring to any unconventional space, the brand imports their own additional resources to introduce safety precautions well beyond what is just necessary to make code. “We have a very different scene than in Oakland,” David Macleod, co-founder of Promise says. “There are some networks of small studios and lofts that people live in and they have small events there … they’re really important.”
“Anyone that has a small event is going to think about their preparedness. I don’t think it has to be really expensive or over developed, everyone is going to think about it now.” Macleod indicates promoters can even contact Promise directly to borrow their special safety equipment for a really low fee. Read more about the future of warehouse parties in Toronto HERE.
Feature image by Visualbass ~ 28 Logan Avenue